I have spilt liquid into my electronic equipment!

I have dropped my phone / remote control into the bath / toilet!

The cat / dog / horse has peed on my laptop computer keyboard

My mate spilt his beer / coke / pepsi onto my iPhone / Blueberry


OK, the quicker you act, the better your chances of saving the equipment!

Firstly, disconnect all power. That means unplugging at the wall socket and/or removing batteries. You may have only seconds to do this so be quick!

Next, in the case of something too delicate to dismantle (such as a camera), you should now dry the outside as much as possible. Then place the unit into a muslin bag (or wrap in cotton cloth) and place in a closed container with some (dry) silica gel or rice grains and leave it in a warm place for a week.

Otherwise, remove any covers and dismantle the equipment as much as you can do easily.

Most spillages such as coffee and soft drinks need water to clean away corrosive deposits but electronic equipment isn't too happy about that. The best compromise is de-icer aerosol liquid, which contains water and Isopropyl Alcohol. Squirt this onto the affected area and use a soft brush to scrub away all traces. Give a further rinse with de-icer. When you are certain that you've removed all the spillage, gently blow the area with a hair dryer set on warm (not hot). Most equipment will tolerate "hand hot". In other words "ooh" but not "ouch!" hot.

Continue to sweep the area with a hair dryer until you can no longer see any liquid.

DO NOT aim hot air at a Liquid Crystal Display screen!

(Some "experts" will tell you not to get the unit warm or blow warm air at it. Ignore them. Water evaporates much more quickly at higher temperatures and electronic Printed Circuit Boards are generally soldered at more than 300'C for several seconds. So warming up components to 30 or 40'C for a couple of minutes won't harm anything.)

Now place the equipment in a warm cupboard with silica-gel or dry rice for at least three days before powering it up.

This procedure might save it, but no guarantees.

(Now go and buy a de-icer aerosol, silica gel and a hair dryer in readiness for your first accident - or your next!)

Note: most manufacturers will not honour any guarantee if equipment is damaged by liquid. Most repair shops will refuse to look at equipment where liquid has been spilt because, although they may be able to get it working, they will not be able to give any guarantee. (Once liquid is inside, corrosion begins - usually where it can't be seen.)

See How to save a cellphone mobile phone

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